Poetry: The Wrath of Water

August 17, 2010

“Rau mein hai raksh-e-umar kahaan dekhiye thhamey
Nai haath baag par hai na pa hai rakaab mein

(Age travels at galloping pace; who knows where it will stop
We do not have the reins in our hands nor our feet in the stirrups).”
Asadullah Khan Ghalib - translated by Khushwant Singh

A man gathers up some of his belongings outside his flooded house in Nowshera in Northwest Pakistan

kis say gila karaiN, yeh kiya maajra hay
yeh roshinouN ka shehr, shehr e khamoshaan hay 
sukoot buland minarouN ki sada say toot ta hay
aur zinda lashaiN,  bay awaaz 
bay maqsad, sarkaiN naapti haiN
oofak kay par matlaashi aankhaiN
fasurdagi aur naummeedi maiN gharq
siskioun aur shikwon kay bojh talay
ilzamoun ki aah o fugaan maiN
kisi madfun junnat ki talash may haiN

complain? bemoan? sigh?
the city of lights has turned taciturn
silence cascades from under the minarets
the walking dead, doleful and diffident
wander aimlessly
gazing at distant horizon
through prisms of regret and hopelessness
anchored by unreleased sighs, queries
and inaudible allegations
for a disappeared shangri-la

kub fitrat, ya qudrat nay suni hay
zinda laashouN ki  faryad bataiyay

when has nature answered
the call of the living dead?

door say ik basti maiN
abhi kuch zinda log haiN shayayd
oonki sarsarati siskiyoun maiN
ab bhi kuch gila hay, kuch faryad si hay
hawa kay dosh jo idhar sunai daiti hay
aur aisa mehsoos hota hay
kay natwaaN  ummeed ki devi maiN
abhi zindagi ki kasak baqi hay

in some far off town
some people are still alive
and their barely discernible sighs
reverberate with yearnings
carried over here by gusts of wind
their leaden hope
still flickers with signs of life

love people who are in awe of words. words are the sole arbiter and the final survivor. desicritic editor, slave and slave-driver.
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